Recently, Prime Minister Scott Morrison spent time touring the industrial heartland of Gladstone in Queenland. He visited the Xtreme Engineering operation where he met General Manager Scott Harrington to discuss how the business has benefitted from government policies and the recent purchase of a Tadano ATF120-5.1 all terrain, the first in Australia.
Ken O’Dowd, Federal Member for Flynn introduced the Prime Minister to the crowd saying.
“We are in the middle of the industrial heart land here in Gladstone and Scott Harrington, the owner of Xtreme Engineering, welcomes the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. People are being employed throughout the area, we’ve got 150 people working on this site alone, including young apprentices, and it’s great that Scott has the ambition and the drive to make this happen,” he said.
Xtreme Engineering specialises in heavy fabrication, maintenance, shutdowns and break downs across various industry sectors including oil, gas, petrochemical, coal, alumina and cement throughout Australia. The business runs seven cranes including three Tadano slew cranes and Frannas.
Scott Harrington welcomed the Prime Minister to Xtreme Engineering and had this to say.
“Prime Minister, it’s great to meet you finally and to welcome you to our operation. As a business, we have benefitted greatly from several recent Government policies including the instant asset write-off programme. It enabled us to purchase this Tadano ATF-120-5.1, 120t capacity Tadano all terrain, the first of its kind in Australia.
We used the instant asset write-off to help us with a project that we recently secured. The project involves the construction of radar towers for the Bureau of Meteorology. A Commonwealth Government project with the towers fully fabricated locally in Gladstone from steel produced in Australian steel mills.
We’ve also been able to sustain an apprenticeship program and used our local apprentices on this job with the kids loving the work. You have been able to meet a couple of young fellas today, so that’s good. Thank you and welcome to Gladstone, mate,” said Scott.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank Scott and to remind the crowd about the importance of continuing to support Australian business and Australian manufacturing throughout the recovery period.
“Thank you, Scott and congratulations, on everything you’re achieving here at Xtreme Engineering. I will say $1.8 million is a significant investment for any business to be making in their future, and the fact that businesses are investing in their future is key to Australia’s economic recovery plan.
“The Budget was all about securing Australia’s economic recovery and that recovery comes from investing in skills and the training. During this visit we’ve met some of the apprentices, those in their second and third year, even those who are coming out of the school system right now,” he said.
“There are around eight apprentices employed here as part of these projects and it’s great to see the investment in skills and training enabling the likes Xtreme Engineering to take on these major projects.
“We are manufacturing in Gladstone, we’re manufacturing in Queensland and we are manufacturing in Australia. By continuing to support manufacturing in Australia, we are backing in our steel producers and we’ve certainly done that. It means backing in our aluminium producers, and we’re doing that, it means backing in the training that is required for the skills that are needed to make things here in this country, and we are doing that,” said the Prime Minister.
“And it is great to see this project, this contract, which comes from the Bureau of Meteorology, from an investment our Government made a couple of years ago in the Budget, and how it improves our weather reporting systems particularly in northern Queensland.
“This project is also helping our producers in so many other sectors of the economy because that information in the north of Australia is so critical to them. This is all about the incentives for investment, the instant asset write-off, the instant expensing initiative, which means companies can fully write-off these types of investments so they can compete for the work and do it on a competitive basis.
“This will see the jobs stay here, whether it’s in Gladstone, Queensland or anywhere else in the country. It’s great to see that virtuous cycle of a Government actually stepping up to address a major environmental challenge and to see this type of project delivered by an Australian company with Australian apprentices using Australian steel. That’s what our economic recovery plan is all about and that’s how we secure our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession,” said the Prime Minister.
Although the Tadano ATF 120-5.1 was purchased for the Bureau of Meteorology project it has been busy on various projects from day one,” said Harrington.
“One of the first jobs for the crane was at a local alumina refinery where it helped replace a new duct system into the main stack. This job was a serious test for the manoeuvrability for the crane as there were some incredibly tight tolerances with the site. We could get the crane into position in one of two ways. One option included major earthworks and engineering of the site which would take time and cost money, which wasn’t going to work.
“The second option, which we chose, was only possible because of the manoeuvrability and the narrow width, of the crane. We were able to squeeze it into position with 50mm of clearance between the boiler and the large transformers. The machine was up at about 18m and the duct weighed just over 7t.
“We’ve been putting the crane through its paces pretty much from the moment we took delivery and its performance has been exceptional,” he said.
Harrington goes on to discuss more benefits he is realising with the ATF-120-5.1.
“Even with a long main boom of 60m, the crane is light enough to travel with the hook block installed. From our perspective, that makes it an extraordinary machine when it comes to roadworthiness,” he said.
“The ATF-120-5.1 is a cost saver to us because we don’t have to bring in a subcontractor to get the job done. This means that we’ll be able to get new major customers and tap into new kinds of business, especially since we have the only ATF-120-5.1 in Australia and are in a position to offer exclusive solutions. This crane makes us more attractive to the bigger clients because we can do the whole job,” said Harrington.